Friday, September 26, 2008

No Hard Edges In Life Or Art

graphite drawing by Lori Levn "No Hard Edges"
graphite drawing in moleskine

Thinking back to my art school years I can hear my instructors telling me, "there are no hard edges" and "always soften your edges". These words play over and over like a maddening song in my head as I work. As my work matures I can see the edges disappear. Forms start to become one with the space around them instead of separate. They work in harmony and do not compete with their environment.

I sat at the kitchen table with a huge basket of fruit before me and sketched this piece. The light filtered to the window and the rest of the room was dark. There was a sense of peace but also mystery in the room. Instead of getting right to the studio I stopped long enough to capture the moment. My goal was to represent that which I saw with the feeling attached. "No hard edges" I continually repeated in my head.

The more I thought about it I realized that applied to life and how we live it. Setting up boundaries with one's surroundings and those around us is necessary to a point. However when our exterior becomes hard and separate we lose a little of what makes us look alive and whole. Staying soft and meshing into what is around us is tricky and feels rather scary. We wonder if the risk is worth it. Like this drawing, the results are worthy of the leap of faith.

Next week I get a break from show preparation and marketing for a while. I will be in PA two days photographing for two commissions I'm starting. "The Veil" will see a little love again and I will begin Buster's pet portrait. This dog portrait is of a funny Golden Retriever that I just can't wait to get pencils moving.

Now you must excuse me. I am off and running to set up my booth at the Greenwich Artisans' Faire and Marketplace in Cumberland County. Super duper fine artist Alex Alampi and his wife Dot have so kindly offered to help me set up my tent today so that only the art has to be put out tomorrow. They are an amazing team. Joel and the kids will be there to help me the rest of the weekend. Maybe you'll come out and visit us. Hope to see you there!